Yesterday the Motorsport industry lost a significant figure, more specifically in Formula 1.
Sir Frank Williams has tragically passed away at age 79, he was the longest serving team principle the F1 scene had ever seen, he totalled 50 years as an F1 team boss and during his period he went on to win 7 drivers’ titles and nine constructors’ championships.
The Williams team had formed its history through Sir Frank Williams so its fair to say that a big chunk of Formula 1 history was made through him and without him the sport wouldn’t have been the same and we might have never experienced the outstanding Williams domination era.
Following the news of Sir Frank’s death, a statement from Williams said: “It is with great sadness that on behalf of the Williams family, the team can confirm the death of Sir Frank Williams CBE, Founder and Former Team Principal of Williams Racing, at the age of 79.
History Of The Williams TeamEmbed from Getty Images
The great Williams F1 team was founded in 1977 after Frank Williams’ had an unsuscessful attempt in making an F1 team, in which was called Frank Williams Racing Cars.
The first race Williams had competed in was the 1977 Spanish Grand Prix and from there on out, the rest was history. Williams would take their first victory of many in the 1979 British Grand Prix which was won by Switzerland International, Clay Regazzoni.
To no surprise, Frank Williams had controlled the team so efficiently and in such effect that at the 1997 British Grand Prix, Williams driver Jacques Villeneuve, would score the team’s 100th race victory in Formula 1 putting them in the elite category of being only 1 of 4 teams in the history of F1 to reach 100 wins, the others being McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari.
As well as reaching the superior milestones in F1, Frank had lead Williams to achieve an astonishing 9 Constructors’ Championships’ in the space of just 17 years This was a record until Ferrari had surpassed it in the 2000s
Drivers Of WilliamsEmbed from Getty Images
As well as being an incredible team boss, Frank also had an eager eye for talent. Throughout the many years at Williams we have seen acres of talent be produced, future World Champions, Constructor winning drivers, you name it! Williams had it all.
Some of the many talented drivers to drive for Williams go by the name off: Keke Rosberg, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, David Coulthard, Jenson Button, Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet, Ayrton Senna and Jacques Villeneuve.
Many of these drivers would go on to become Driver World Champions for the team and many would go on to help the team to win the Constructors Championship.
Without Sir Frank Williams’ eagle eye some of these drivers may never have become as successful or even successful at all without the stepping stone to Williams. So fortunately, due to Frank’s management and the cars he and his team were able to produce in and out each season, we were able to witness a plethora of fantastic season’s and drivers writing themselves into the history book.
Comments On His Passing
“After being admitted into hospital on Friday, Sir Frank, passed away peacefully this morning surrounded by his family.
“Today we pay tribute to our much loved and inspirational figurehead. Frank will be sorely missed. We request that all friends and colleagues respect the Williams family’s wishes for privacy at this time.”
F1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali said: “This morning Claire Williams called to inform me of the very sad news that her beloved father, Sir Frank Williams, had passed away.
“He was a true giant of our sport that overcame the most difficult of challenges in life and battled every day to win on and off the track. We have lost a much loved and respected member of the F1 family and he will be hugely missed.
“His incredible achievements and personality will be etched on our sport forever. My thoughts are with all the Williams family and friends at this sad time.”
Meanwhile, Williams’ current CEO and Team Principal Jost Capito also paid tribute to the team’s founder, saying: “The Williams Racing team is truly saddened by the passing of our founder Sir Frank Williams.
“Sir Frank was a legend and icon of our sport. His passing marks the end of an era for our team and for the sport of Formula 1. He was one of a kind and a true pioneer. Despite considerable adversity in his life, he led our team to 16 World Championships, making us one of the most successful teams in the history of the sport.
“His values including integrity, teamwork and a fierce independence and determination, remain the core ethos of our team and are his legacy, as is the Williams family name under which we proudly race. Our thoughts are with the Williams family at this difficult time.”
Rest in peace Sir Frank Williams: 1942-2021